Leeds sliding as Eastmond lifts Saints

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The Independent Online

Leeds lost for the third match in a row and slipped to eighth in Super League after a 38-18 defeat at Catalan Dragons.

The Rhinos looked to be in with a chance when they cut the margin to six points with tries from Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Danny Buderus, but the Catalans immediately struck back through Clint Greenshields, Vincent Duport and a second Frederic Vaccari try to clinch a convincing win.

St Helens' coach, Royce Simmons, moved the Bath-bound Kyle Eastmond to full-back for the trip to Wakefield and got his reward with two first-half tries in a 46-6 win. Jamie Foster also chipped in with a brace.

Wigan eased back to the top of the table on Saturday, winning 38-6 at Harlequins.

Quins kept it to a respectable 14-6 at half-time, with their try coming from Karl Pryce. The champions ran away with it in the second half, however, with Paul Deacon getting two of their tries and Pat Richards a try and five goals.

Given that they had seven players under club suspension, Crusaders did well to hold visitors Hull KR to 12-10 at the interval but Rovers went on to win 38-10 with Ben Galea claiming a hat-trick in his 100th game.

Crusaders' coach, Iestyn Harris, said his depleted side "really had a dig". The sinning seven will be back next weekend, but he fears he will be without Gareth Thomas for the season with a suspected broken arm.

Warrington briefly took over at the top on Friday night with a 28-16 win over Huddersfield. The Wolves had it won with an early 22-point lead, but the Giants fought back to narrow the gap to six at one stage.

The new Salford coach, Matt Parish, flew in from Australia to see the side he has inherited play at Hull. He cannot have been too impressed, because mid-table Hull won 52-16 at the KC Stadium with the England winger Tom Briscoe grabbing three of their tries.